Derived from the Italian for a particular kind of coffer, "cassone" refers to a chest in that a bride stored her linen prior to marriage. These chests often had elaborate decorations, carved moldings and painted panels at the sides or outside or inside of the lid. These chests were mostly done during the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Often, the subjects for these "cassones" were taken from mythology or from classically antique subjects. It is not known precisely why these paintings were done in the fashion they were, but it is thought that they may have had some type of superstitious or magical meaning.
Many of the paintings from them have been detached and now hang as pictures done by the Masters, even though at the time they were completed, the artists who did them were only thought of as simple craftsmen. The two exceptions to this rule were Botticelli and Uccello. Because of the shape of the cassone, it is quite easy to identify them, because they were always between four and six feet wide and no more than twelve to eighteen inches high.